Monday, September 23, 2013

5S habits for lean manufacturing

Lean manufacturing is to eliminate anything that does not create values in the product. I think having 5S (sort, straighten, sweep, standardize, sustain) is prerequisite for successful lean manufacturing. After I learn lean manufacturing, I came to think about how to apply this concept to my life.

Today, many people have difficult in handling more than one thing at the same time. Although technology appeared to help modern people manage their time efficiently, they are overwhelmed by tons of information. For factories, producing items without defects is significant for successful business. For humans, getting something done without mistakes would be important to achieve their goals.

Here is five S.

Sort: I need to find what skills are essential to accomplish one task. If some of skills are not being used, these can be eliminated. In this sense, factory workers can investigate which process is necessary. Sorting is a basic step before starting working on some tasks.

Straighten: once we find essential skills that contribute to tasks, we can focus on efficiency. How can we improve these skills that make me differentiate from other competitors. If sort is like dividing into strong points and weak points, straighten is to improve the strong points and eliminate weak points.

Sweep: this means keep the environment clean and neat so that you can concentrate on your work without disrupting others. Factory workers can align tools and remove unnecessary parts. I want to describe this as trimming. By trimming my strong points, I can find opportunities that I can apply my strong points in the near future.

Standardize: keep straightening and trimming my skills.

Sustain: this step is significant to keep me improve my strong points in a long term. On the other hand, factory workers can improve the process of production and handle unexpected issues well.

In this blog, I tried to learn 5S for lean manufacturing to improve my strong points. Comparing the process of manufacturing to habits of humans is a little strange to me. However, I believe that 5S can be transferrable to habits of humans if we define 5S in a different perspective. By learning 5S habits, I will be able to manage time efficiently. Also, when I make a decision, 5S will help me eliminate unnecessary concerns and focus mainly on critical factors that influence to my future. Lastly, if factory workers not only learn 5S for lean manufacturing but also learn 5S habits for themselves, these workers will have better understand the key concept of lean manufacturing, Therefore, companies that provide a 5S habit training to factory workers would have competitive advantages over other competitors in that they have efficient workers based on 5S habits.

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